Definition of black industrialists to be 'tight'

dti Minister Rob Davies (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)
dti Minister Rob Davies (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

Parliament – The black industrialists policy is a game changer in the way that black economic empowerment has unfolded in the country, Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies has said.

The minister released the Black Industrialists policy on Thursday which is a more a focused approach to support black industrialists in a bid to enhance South Africa’s industrialisation efforts.

Davis reiterated that the definition of black industrialist would be very tight.

“We want to make sure that we are targeting the right kind of people so the definition of black industrialist is quite tight,” he said on Thursday in Parliament.

The policy describes a black industrialist as a juristic person that includes co-operatives, incorporated in terms of the Companies Act (2008), owned by Black South Africans as defined by the B-BBEE Act who creates and owns value-adding industrial capacity and provides long-term strategic and operational leadership to a business.

A black industrialist can also be a 'natural person'.

He said to benefit, those interested had to be real entrepreneurs in the industrial economy.

“We want to be very very clear that this is not an opportunity for someone who is peripherally connected to manufacturing.”

Davis said the programme would provided dedicated financial support and all kinds of other support as it unfolded.

“We are asking all parts of government . . .  to dedicate a particular portion of their activities for the black industrialists programme.”  

A dedicated forum of officials will be created that would be responsible for funding decisions, he said.

“It won’t be politicians, it will be officials who take funding decisions from the participating DFI’s.”

The BIP programme, which is a key component of the dti’s Industrial Policy Action Plan, was approved by Cabinet on November 4 this year.

The BIP programme will form stakeholder relationships with multi-corporations, commercial banks, development finance institutions and state-owned enterprises - all with a common goal of assisting black industrialists towards accessing capital markets and growing in the sectors that they operate in.

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